Big Mac, revisited: still not worth much more than a QP with cheese.

December 30th, 2006 → 11:57 am @ // No Comments

Ah, yes: Hall of Fame voting. For folks not living in New England, this year that means a debate about Mark McGwire. I don’t think McGwire deserves to get in, for reasons I’ve explained before. (CliffsNotes version: if I had a vote (I don’t and never will) I’d settle the whole steroids issue thusly: players I think would be HoF players without ‘roids — Barry Bonds, et al — would get a check mark next to their name; players who wouldn’t — McGwire, Sosa — would not.) I also have a philisophical problem with voting for anyone who makes Jose Canseco look honest in comparison.

For anyone about to go on about how good McGwire was regardless, I call major shenanigans. I’m not the first person to point out that, sans juice, McGwire resembled Dave Kingman more than he did Willie Mays. McGwire is, after all, a guy who hit .220 over what should have been the prime three-year period of his career: his 25 to 27 years. And Kingman, a one-dimensional slugger, to be sure, was pretty good in that one dimension. When he retired in ’86 with 442 long balls, he was 19th on the all-time list.

Some other fun ‘roid-related stuff: in going through my archives, I found, among other humorous posts, likely the only one that marries Jason Giambi and the First Amendment. It also wins the award for one of my favorite headlines: Jason Giambi is a Gutless, Steroid-Using Punk. I’m also glad to see I was correct in calling bullshit on Jayson Stark’s mildly hysterical piece in the wake of the Rogersgate (or whatever you want to call it), when Stark wrote that “It wasn’t just his pitching hand that Rogers soiled on Sunday night. It was, regrettably, his whole sport. And that’s a stain that will take a lot longer to wash off.” Out damned spot, indeed.

Finally, in yet another air kiss to one of my favorite baseball writers in the country, make sure you check out Joe Posnanski’s column in tomorrow’s KC Star.

Post Categories: Hall of Fame & Joe Posnanski & Kenny Rogers & Mark McGwire

3 Comments → “Big Mac, revisited: still not worth much more than a QP with cheese.”

  1. tinisoli

    17 years ago

    The thing I don’t like about your philosophy on steroid users and the HOF is that there’s essentially no penalty for having cheated so long as you were good beforehand. Your argument, which is echoed by plenty of other writers, is that steroids gave some players (Mac, Sosa, Giambi, Palmeiro) HOF numbers that they otherwise wouldn’t have had, while some users who were already phenomenally talented (Bonds) probably would’ve been shoo-ins for the Hall either way. Therefore, the players who cheated out of what they might call necessity (or practicality) are locked out of Cooperstown, and the players who used out of sheer vanity are allowed in. That doesn’t make one bit of sense to me. A cheater is a cheater. Why should players who are better to begin with be given a pass? Is it somehow less disgusting for a perennial All-Star to give himself an extreme makeover and become the all-time HR king than it is for a mediocre hitter to make himself, through chemistry, into an All-Star?



    17 years ago

    Dave Kingman was one of my favorite players to watch. When that SOB connected he could really hit the crap out of the ball. I remember a Saturday game in Shea Stadium when he hit 3 dingers, each awesome in its one way. One was a line drive laser beam, one a towering fly into the upper deck and one a 500 foot bomb into the parking lot. Imagine what King Kong would have done on steroids. As for the serious problem of steroids and the Hall, I’m afraid there may be no logical solution available. For once it may make perfect sense to let the voters just follow their own instincts.


  3. sanford sklansky

    17 years ago

    Granted McGwire was not a big BA guy, his OBP and SLG numbers were much better than Kingman. He was not a particularly great fielder and though character does not apparently count for much, he didn’t have much of that either.


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